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Byron Shire
May 25, 2024

Lismore candidate Matthew Bertalli

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With just a few days until we head to the polls, The Echo asked the candidates for the seat of Lismore one last bunch of questions.

Here are the responses from Matthew Bertalli

– Shooter, Fishers and Farmers


What is your policy on Cannabis?
The Shooter, Fishers and Farmers have no policy on Cannabis.

Personally, I am open to the decriminalisation of Cannabis in NSW. I believe there needs to be an expansion into the medical uses of cannabis, making it easier for people to access and other potential uses for example.

I also believe that we can further expand the use of cannabis produces, such as paper and clothing.

Do you support building on floodplains?
I do not support the building of residential buildings on floodplain. I believe that some development can occur on floodplain as long as it is not significantly impacted by flooding.

Floodplain is an important natural landform that can be used to assist in flood mitigation. Look at Grafton for example, the floodplain that exists between Grafton and Junction Hill is kept clear of major development and is an important feature in the flood mitigation strategy of the town.

This is just one of many examples. Developing the floodplain results in increased runoff from these areas that are supposed to hold water.

Instead, all the water is forced into the waterways, resulting in higher flood water levels.

How would you address the issue of legacy floodplain approvals (developments that have been approved but not yet built, that are on floodplains)?
Any development that is residential or any that would be significantly impacted by flooding should be reconsidered. I understand that this may cause hardship towards some individuals, but it could save much more pain in the future.

We have seen the negative effects of development of floodplains in the floods last year.

These conditions cannot continue into the future and at some point a line must be
draw in the sand.

Do you consider that the current NSW government’s Short Term Rental Accommodation laws (STRA) has contributed to the current housing crisis, and would you advocate for local councils to regain control over STRA?
STRA may have contributed to the current housing crisis and if it has contributed, it is to such a small amount that the transfer of responsibility back to local councils would not solve the issue.

The current housing crisis is a flow on effect from the cities. Large developers, such as Lendlease and Meriton, intentionally hold houses off the market in order to increase the price of housing – working similarly to how diamond producers only allow a certain number of diamonds on the market to keep the price of diamonds high. This increase in housing prices also effects the price of rents and all this flows from the city into regional areas.

In order to fix these issues, I believe that a vacancy tax should be introduced and to stop foreign ownership of Australian land.

What is your position on Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a dark stain on Australian society. Further funding needs to be allocated towards the support of victims. However, support isn’t enough, more focus needs to be given to the prevention of domestic violence as well.

How are you funding/paying for your campaign?
Other than the base level of support granted to me by the party, for example posters and how-to-vote cards, I have funded the majority out of my own pocket.

How will you suggest to your supporter to preference on their ballot papers?
I think my supports should vote however they feel best represents them. I haven’t put any preferences on my how-to-vote cards, other than myself, because I want people to make their own choice.


Click here for more questions and information about your Lismore candidates.

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